I'm a service desk engineer here at Ideal - and one of just seven female members in a team of more than 40 people. As part of our discussion around women in IT, we're interviewing women within and beyond Ideal to ask what they do in their job, what their experience of IT is, and how we can encourage more women into the sector - here are my answers.
My experience in IT - Elizabeth Ramos Estrada
What is your current role here at Ideal?
I offer first-line support to all Ideal customers. The role is at the service desk, answering phone calls of any customer who is having an IT issue. Sometimes the problems can be solved right away by me, or sometimes through escalation to other members of the engineering team. My role includes monitoring the state of several devices - network links, among others.
What did you study at university?
For my undergrad degree (which I started six years ago) I studied Telematics Engineering - a mixture between Telecommunications and Informatics. Currently I'm doing my postgrad studies: a master's degree in Satellite Communication Systems.
How did you get into a career in IT?
Since I was a little girl I was fascinated by technology: I always wondered how all that stuff worked. I wanted to know how it was possible to store information in a disk, or how it was possible to broadcast something to the TV, and so many other things.
As I grew older, I got into technology more deeply. I assembled and disassembled many devices from my home. Informatics seemed so easy to me and I read and learned all by myself. I knew for sure that was what I wanted to do for living.
Do you enjoy it?
I love it. I'm seeing that mostly all IT is a daily challenge. And it's not just standard 'IT knowledge' - sometimes I need to draw from what I know about physics as much as what I know about networks to solve problems.
Most of the time you can come across situations you have never seen before, and often the solution is what you least expect. It's not possible for someone that works in IT to get bored of his or her job!
Do you know any other women (friends, peers or relatives) who work in IT?
In my family I am the first woman to get into an IT career but I do know a lot of women - colleagues from the University - that work in IT. Even though 70% of my generation of students were men, that's a big improvement from the recent past - you can see that the younger generation of women are more interested in this field.
Would you recommend IT as a career to girls who are thinking about their future?
Absolutely, it is really comforting knowing that you are equally capable of doing something that not many years ago was considered to be 'men's work'. We should prove to ourselves that there should be no more comparisons between the capabilities of different genders, and get rid of all the stereotypes that compare us to men in a negative way.
What’s the best thing a girl or woman can do to get into IT?
Firstly be aware of how fascinating and wide the field of IT is, how fast this industry is growing, and the infinity of job possibilities within the IT field. From doing something for your local community to dreaming of assembling something that someday can go to space!
How can we encourage more girls and women to consider a ‘technical’ career or a career in IT?
By doing seminars, conferences, or inviting them to places where women are working so that we can show them how interesting this field is. The experiences of others can really motivate us to think or get into something that we never expected to be interested in.
Header image credit: Jon Westra/Flickr, Creative Commons.